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While anthologies can be the most fun to read, they can also be rather challenging to review because of all the content. So, here’s a blurb of a few random stories from the book, allowing you to see if this is a book you might find interesting in the near future.
“The Bird Room”- Shortly after a man buys an African Grey parrot, he starts seeing things and acting stranger and stranger himself. (While this one was definitely an eerie sort of read, I don’t feel that it was the strongest. My biggest issue was probably the writing style; I just don’t think that the writing was very tight, especially for a short story. I will say that the dialogue between the two best friends was pretty authentic though, and I think that’s what really saved this story for me.)
“The Forest”- A strange boy disappears into a dark forest, but no one dares enter to search for him. (The writing style of this one was different than all the rest. It was more like the reader was telling a story rather than showing, but it worked in this case. The story has to do with tales being told, passed down through the generations. So I think it was meant to have that campfire story feel.)
“The Spiders”- A little boy’s favorite tradition during that festive time of year is making Spider Cookies, but only his family knows the secret ingredient. (This is one of those stories where you just see the bad coming. It has a sort of style that may remind you of the calm before the storm, but trust me the storm is totally worth seeing. I can almost guarantee you don’t know what the secret ingredient is either.)
“Gray”- A young man and his sister walk to a meeting of the rebellion in a dangerous new America. (This was an interesting little read. I think the major strength of this one was getting a good feel for the characters in just a few pages.)
“The Hunt”- A teenage boy is the last of his classmates to have never caught a ghost, but tonight is the night! (This was probably one of my favorite stories from the book, and it garnered a little smile. It is probably the only one that had a feel good quality.)
“The Park”- A writer is approached by a creepy stranger while sitting at a bench in a haunted park. (This was the last story in the book, and honestly had no other place. It was the perfect way to end the book, and while again I feel the writing could have been a little tighter, I felt it got its point across.)
I enjoyed this read as a whole, though I had mixed feelings about the writing style at times. I also noticed a trend of things having no rhyme or reason. A lot of the stories seemed to have a theme of, “Bad things happen because, well…bad things happen.” This is okay sometimes, though I don’t know that I liked that nearly every story was like this. Sometimes I like my horror reads to have a moral of some sort.
There weren’t many stories where the protagonist won out in the end, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in the horror genre. So, if you’re looking for a book of short stories that will make your inner demons laugh maniacally (just be careful not to crack that smile in public) this could definitely be for you. I’m going to rate The Bird Room by Chad Hoffman 3 out of 4 stars. Just for those demented folk like me out there.
Buy "The Bird Room" on Amazon